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I'm just about to move from Windows XP to Windows 7, and I'm struggling with some of the interface changes.

In XP, I was able to throw a folder intoC:\Documents and Settings\username\Start Menuand have it appear on the Start Menu, complete with the ability to navigate through subfolders. I've figured out how to pin a folder onto the Start Menu in Windows 7, which required a registry hack. However, I am unable to view the subfolders of the pinned folder without opening a new Windows Explorer window.

Is there any way to replicate the old XP behavior I'm used to? I'd like to be only a single click away from these handful of application links and folders, since I use them all the time throughout the day.

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Btw, you don't need to use a registry hack. All you need to do, I believe, is to drag a folder onto the start button, wait a second or two, wait for the start menu to open, drag it onto the start menu, and it'll get pinned. I may be wrong though. – Vervious Apr 8 '10 at 16:40
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Yes, you can drag a folder onto the start button, wait for it to pop up, drag to a spot in the pinned list, and drop it there. It'll get pinned but you won't be able to browse it as a menu.

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The only way I have found to do this is using the included mklink utility.

Open a terminal in %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu and enter the command:

mklink /D <Name to Pin as> <Target folder to pin>

For example, to pin Program Files, type:

mklink /D "Program Files" "%ProgramFiles%"

However, this method will still require you to open the All Programs menu before you can see the folder. Directly browsing a folder from the start menu does not seem possible.

As an alternative, you could try making a toolbar of the folder in your taskbar.

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You can switch back to a previous Windows version Start Menu. This is pretty spectacular:

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